Self Control

It’s a subject I’ve been contemplating for a while and it came up again in our class at church this weekend: self-control. 

We were discussing it in terms of being a fruit of the Spirit, but the truth is that self-control is one of those things we often try to conjure up in our own strength. We try to deny ourselves the things we realize are a point of overindulgence but often end up giving in to the very cravings we are trying so hard to tame. At least I know I do. So where is the line between the two? How can I know my self-control is the Holy Spirit kind and not the kind destined to eventually fail? 

I don’t have real answers yet. I find there are areas of my life I see the true fruit of self-control. And there are areas of my life that I struggle, try to impose my own limits, and fail. But the subject is on my mind and in my prayers a lot these days. 
Any insights out there? 


Wendy Paine Miller said...

Sadly, I catch myself justifying my choices at times.

Going to be thinking about this today. (And praying.)
~ Wendy

Anne Mateer said...

Me, too, Wendy. Which of course confirms that my self-control isn't the Holy Spirit fruit kind. Sigh.

Marji Laine said...

When I think of self-control, I don't always think of the kind that keeps me from over-indulgence. I usually think of Dabney Coleman in the old movie Nine to Five. (Wow, I'm really dating myself.)

They had a picture of him with smoke coming out of his ears. I think of self-control when I think of anger issues. And those usually come up when I'm watching people.

So your reminder about the self-indulgent self-control is needed. And I think motivation is the key to knowing whether the control is Spirit-led or coming from within us. If our choices are in honor of the Lord, then it is a Spirit-led thing.

Anne Mateer said...

I agree, Marji. So many times the line between sin and obedience comes down to motivation of the heart.